Unclaimed money is basically a fancy way of describing money that people have lost or forgotten about, such as pension funds from old employers, lawsuit payouts, and old stocks. For example, people may have opened up a bank account when they were young and, when they were older, opened up a new account somewhere else. While they may have forgotten about that old account, there's a possibility that it still exists years later--and that it has been collecting interest the entire time! Additionally, some money may go unclaimed when a person dies and the appropriate heir cannot be found. Unclaimed money is worth billions of dollars, but much of it never gets back into the hands of its rightful owners. For an idea of just how big of an issue unclaimed money is--and how you can search for unclaimed assets--here's a look at just a few of the facts behind it.
A lot of people have unclaimed money
Unclaimed money is not rare. In fact, one out of every ten Americans has unclaimed money that they have lost, are unaware of, or have forgotten about, but which is nonetheless theirs. Furthermore, during the 2015 Fiscal Year there was $7.763 billion in collected unclaimed property throughout the country, with less than half that amount actually finding its way to its rightful owners.
Getting unclaimed money back is easy
Here's something most people don't know: claiming your unclaimed money isn't actually very hard. That's because every state plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands has a database set up to help you find unclaimed money. The bad news is that because there is no federal database that means you will have to search state databases individually to find unclaimed property that may belong to you. Once you do find it, however, it is generally very easy to get it back--meaning that you won't, generally, have to pay any fees for it. It is your money after all! Generally, unclaimed money will only be hard to get back if it is of quite a significant size.
You don't need to be rich to have unclaimed assets
The fact is that if you're rich you are actually less likely to have unclaimed assets compared to someone who is poor or middle class. That's because rich people have accountants, lawyers, and other professionals who work to make sure all their assets are known and accounted for. A person who can't afford such professionals, meanwhile, has to search by him or herself for any unclaimed money he or she may own. As a result, unclaimed money tends to disproportionately affect the very people who could most benefit from that money.
Unclaimed money is used for the general good
So what happens to unclaimed money that never gets returned? Well, the good news is that it gets used for the general good, on things such as schools, roads, hospitals, and so on. In other words, instead of going to private corporations, it goes to the government. An unclaimed bank account, for example, would eventually go to the state government rather than to the bank. That ensures that even if money is never claimed it can still be used to benefit everybody.
Unclaimed money could be the windfall you've been looking for. By searching for such unclaimed money today, you might find a little bonus that could really make your day or even your year.